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Teach Them Well

Raising Confident Teens

As a parent of three children, I have faced the challenge of guiding my children in so many ways. Watching my two daughters move through their teen years of self-discovery, I believe that their spiritual upbringing helped inform their choices about post-secondary education. Attending Roman Catholic schools they learned how to write a gratitude journal at an early age and how to be still, at least in church.

Within our family we encouraged a strong appreciation of nature by being outdoors as much as possible. When we went through difficult times, like dividing our family, we added energy work and meditation to soothe our irritation. Where many teens struggle with the decisions of what they want to do, I am quite sure that my daughters knew how to self reflect and make choices by drawing on their eclectic spiritual practices.

When it came to choosing careers, both of my daughters needed to know that they would make the right decisions and that it was okay to try anything they desired. To bolster confidence, I encouraged my business-oriented daughter to develop a portfolio and model in commercials. She learned about the fashion industry and how to manage the attention that her beauty attracts. She is finishing her third year of a business degree, majoring in fashion. I am confident that her attitude of compassion will enhance her work in the fashion world.

I took my art-oriented daughter to see one of the best Canadian universities, traveling over 4,000 miles in one weekend. We met with no one from the school; instead we walked the streets, rode on bike paths and sat by the ocean, to get a sense of place. She is finishing her first year of study in her new home.

One inspiration to me during my parenting years is the short readings of Vimala McClure. Her thoughts on motherhood resonated with me from the time my daughters were infants through their teen years, causing me to step back and reflect. With a son still to go through the process of career selection I know I am not done with Vimala yet,as I continue to discover that motherhood is a wonderful, ongoing journey of teaching, loving and letting go.

Charlene Cratt
Mother, Writer and Speech-Language Pathologist
Recommended Read: The Tao of Motherhood by Vimala McClure


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